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Pak using terrorism as state policy: PM
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 6
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today accused Pakistan of having a direct role in Mumbai terror attacks while Home Minister P Chidambaram laid a wish list to the state that includes having a designated person in each of the police stations across the country exclusively to gather intelligence.

The Prime Minister and the home minister were speaking at the chief ministers’ conference on internal security. Surprisingly, the home minister, in his opening remarks, was silent on the National Investigation Agency and amendments to the Unlawful Activities (prevention) Act.

The Prime Minister accused Pakistan of using terrorism as state policy and said sophistication and military precision of the Mumbai attack shows that it must have had the support of some official agencies of that country.

“Today even as Pakistan engages in whipping up war hysteria, our nation remains steadfastly united and if anything the process of national consolidation is becoming stronger,” he said.

Blaming Pakistan, he said, extremism was primarily indigenous and homegrown. Terrorism, on the other hand, is largely sponsored from outside the country, mainly Pakistan.

The Prime Minister added that people responsible for terrorist infrastructure in Pakistan have resorted to other stratagems to infiltrate terrorists into India via Nepal and Bangladesh besides the usual routes across the line of control in Jammu and Kashmir.

Both, the Prime Minister and the home minister were clear that the focus has to be on human intelligence gathering. While Manmohan Singh said: “There is need to review the effectiveness of our set up for the collection of technical signal and human intelligence”, the home minister was very categorical in suggesting that all states need to have a man in each police station across the country to gather intelligence. Best sources of information are the local police stations across the country, he added. Nothing can happen without the knowledge of the local station house officer, he said.

The home minister made it clear that the Centre was willing to provide all kinds of assistance. This would include sharing of intelligence. Chidambaram also circulated a proposal to strengthen the special branch in each state under the police modernisation scheme. The states have been asked to give their views and suggestions.

The buck stops at the desk of the Chief Ministers, the Home Minister said.

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